Dogs can distinguish human language. Researchers from the Department of Ethology, Eötvös Loránd University revealed it through their experiments and brain scans.
Nationalgeographic.co.id—When brain dog Domestic intelligence is known to be able to understand 89 unique words and phrases produced by humans, they are actually able to distinguish language man. So, it’s not an easy thing to give orders to dog who just moved past language different from where it came from.
Ability dog This was revealed by researchers in the journal NeuroImage, December 12, 2021. It all started with study lead author Laura V. Cuaya from the Department of Ethology Institute of Biology, Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary, moving from Mexico for postdoctoral research.
He took his dog, Kun-kun with him, moved to Hungary. Where he came from, the dog was used to Spanish, but while living in Budapest, Cuaya wanted to find out how well his friends understood Chathe spoke a different language, Hungarian.
“We know that people, even human babies, notice the difference. But maybe dogs aren’t bothered,” Cuaya said in research release.
“However, Kun-kun and 17 other dogs were trained to lie motionless on a brain scanner (MRI), where we played story excerpts. The Little Prince in Spanish and Hungarian.”
The dogs were also tested with a series of meaningless human voices. “We also played random versions of these quotes, which sounded very unnatural, to test whether they detected any difference between speech and non-speech at all.” LiveScience.
As a result, the dogs could only recognize one of the two languages that were spoken to them. Which means, explained Cuaya and his research team, dogs are only familiar with one human language but not at all in another.
Based on MRI scans, not only can the dog’s brain clearly distinguish between speech and non-speech (which is meaningless), but it also reacts to recognized and unrecognized language in different ways. The distinct pattern of activity lies in the dog’s primary auditory cortex.
However, there is no clear evidence that the dog’s brain has a neural preference for discriminating between speech and non-speech. The researchers predict that these detection abilities may differ from communication sensitivity in humans, or in short they are only capable of detecting the natural sound of human-generated sounds.
“This study demonstrates for the first time that a non-human brain can distinguish between two languages,” the researchers wrote.
The researchers found that the activity of the brain’s secondary auditory cortex in dogs was more common in older dogs. They argue that older dogs have the ability to distinguish between known and unknown languages, compared to younger dogs.
“I think the main reason [bahwa anjing yang lebih tua lebih baik dalam membedakan bahasa] is the amount of exposure to the language,” Cuaya said. “Older dogs have more opportunities to listen to humans when they speak.”
Cuaya and team suspect that dogs aren’t the only animals capable of discriminating human language, so it’s interesting to see if others can too. Of course, the animal’s brain must be very good at picking up patterns, because every language has its own set of sounds and patterns that make it different from one another.
But most other animals, though few species, that can distinguish human language, he must be trained. Dogs are one of the few animals around us that are interested in hearing human speech, says Cuaya. Uniquely, dogs do not need to be trained to distinguish human language.
“Their brains detect differences spontaneously, perhaps due to the domestication process,” he added. He admits, his findings with his colleagues are surprising that so far many people underestimate how sharp the brains of dogs, animals who are also our friends, are.
“My experience with dogs has shown me that they are constantly paying attention to their social world and everything that is going on around them,” Cuaya says. “I think dogs know a lot more about us than we think.”
Then how is Kun-kun? Cuaya explained that his friend was as happy as he was when he lived in Mexico City. “He saw snow for the first time and he liked to swim in the [Sungai] Danube. We hope that he and his friends will continue to help us uncover the evolution of speech perception.”